Cameras of today are packed with functions and possibilities. Most of us are only using a small part of what’s possible. Still, we often want just one other function that is not available. What function would you like to add to your camera?
I remember my first cameras. They were relatively simple tools with nothing more than the possibility to capture an image. It had an exposure metering system, and the ability to set a shutter speed and aperture. Besides a self-timer, there was not much else possible. These cameras were used for one thing, and one thing only: We used them to photograph our subject.
Much has happened since. The addition of automated functions started when we still used analog film rolls. But the possibilities a camera offered increased significantly when we got into the digital age. We got options that were once believed to be impossible.
For many photographers, it is almost unimaginable to shoot without autofocus, different sophisticated light measurement systems, continuous shooting, or the limit of 36 photos per film roll. Not to mention eye autofocus for humans and animals, and flawless tracking of subjects through the frame.
Modern cameras have even more sophisticated possibilities. time lapse functions, interval shooting, focus stacking, real-time light collecting, exposure simulation in the viewfinder, filming, and so much more. We can develop the photos in the camera itself and communicate with smartphones or other devices. We’re not photographing with a camera, but with a computer.
The more functions and possibilities we get, the less satisfied we seem to become. It almost seems to be only about the technology and features, instead of what it should be about: taking photos. Although many of the features that are present in cameras can help you get the shot you want, it’s not always about the technology involved.
Still, no matter what functions a camera has, there is always a function that isn’t there. Something you would like to have. Not because it’s possible, but because it can help you with your photography — or filming, for that matter. After all, modern cameras can also be used as film cameras.
Just like the computer we use at home or in our offices, a camera can be updated also. In most situations, it’s about removing bugs in the computer software, or changing simple things in order to improve user experience.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to stop there. It is quite easy to add functions and possibilities to our camera. After all, the computer can be programmed any way we see fit. Perhaps the only limit is the amount of memory of the system itself, I think. But then again, I don’t know that much about these computer systems. Still, there is no reason to believe there can be added more functionality. Just a simple firmware update could be enough.
What Functions Would I Like to Have?
I’ve been using a lot of different cameras from all kinds of brands. It means I have seen a lot of the things that are possible and things that have become possible over time. When I look at my Canon EOS R5, I would like to have a lot of extra options, even though I wouldn’t probably need it a lot. I have made a list.
- XF-AVC codec for video like on the Canon EOS R5 C
- No video recording time limit like on the Canon EOS R7
- Wave graph for video like on the Canon EOS R5 C
- Pre-shooting option like on the Canon EOS R7 and EOS R10
- Update in customization for AF system like on the Canon EOS R3 and EOS R7
- Possibility to set self-timer delay and more than one image like on some Sony cameras
- No 30 seconds limit with exposure program like on some Nikon Z series
- 4:5 crop added to aspect ratios
- OVF simulation like the Canon EOS R3
- Real-time light gathering (live bulb) like on some Olympus cameras
It’s a long list of wishes, and perhaps there is not enough computer memory to hold all the necessary programming. But in principle, a lot should be possible with a large firmware update. Canon has done something similar already with the addition of vehicle recognition for autofocus, and the ability to disable the shutdown when overheating while filming.
Wishes Don’t Come True
As you may know, most wishes don’t come true. Although it depends on the manufacturer, most won’t add significant functions to their camera any time soon. After all, they will prefer you to buy their new camera instead, packed with all those improved and new functions.
This doesn’t mean they won’t add new functions of improvements at all. I mentioned the recent Canon firmware update for the EOS R5. Sony recently made an improved autofocus for their Sony a7 IV camera also, together with a few other things. I believe Nikon has done similar things with their Z 6 and Z 7 mirrorless cameras, and Fujifilm added new features in the past.
But most of the time, the firmware updates are just minor improvements and to get rid of known bugs in the camera software. Which is a good thing of course, but a bit limited. It would be nice if new functions would be added every now and then.
What Function Would You Like to See?
I’m sure your camera is also packed with functions and possibilities, except for one that you would love to have. Perhaps it’s not a very important one, but just nice to have. If you could wish for only one function to be added by a firmware update, what would it be?
Please share your wish in the comment below. I can’t grant you any wishes, and I doubt a manufacturer would read these comments and thinks: let’s add this one function. But It would be nice to see what is missing on a certain camera. I’m looking forward to your response.